New WordPress Theme

I ran a contest to redesign my site and then got the winning design marked up into a WordPress theme. It has a few bugs – particularly because the Markup guys had to second guess the plug-ins I was using. For example, I haven’t gotten the “Get Recent Comments” to work yet in the sidebar and I also seem to have two different social bookmarking plugins working. (OK – that last one I can fix as soon as I have posted this)

Overall though, I like it. Joost always said “You can’t have a big enough signup button“. Well – I tried! Since I have a server dedicated to an email marketing suite we bought years ago and hardly ever use, I thought a newsletter signup was good just for extra belt and braces call to action.

So the total cost of this? Well – some of you will say I was robbed, others will say it was a bargain. I felt I paid a fair market rate all along the way, though.

So what do you think of it?

WordPress For 8 Year Olds

Blogging really isn’t hard. My 8 year old daughter is on the other computer as I write, typing her first WordPress page up. Favourite colour, age, etc. To be fair I set up the installaton for her, but now she’s pretty much on her own.

I have to say it’s not with a little intrepidation  that I am letting her loose on the Interweb. It’s far too unregulated, she’s going to post things she’s going to regret, and quite frankly an 8 year old going anywhere near my web server makes me keen not to show her how to install plug-ins for a fair few years. But in the end – what am I going to do? When both my kids were born, I bought the .co.uk versions of their names, with the intention of somehow giving them the domains as presents when they were old enough. At the time I thought “old enough” would be 14-16 or so. But kids today need different skills to the ones their parents needed. They need to start young and I can’t teach things that haven’t been invented yet. So I guess all I can do is show her how WordPress and a website gives you the tools to talk to the world.

She’s been asking for me to have a web page for ages now. What scares me is just how quickly she has stopped asking questions and just started using it.

I don’t think I’ll add her site to my blogroll JUST yet though.

(Added…) I guess that to make this post useful, I should give a few ideas on how to protect an 8 year old blogger. I’d appreciate any other ideas. So far:

  1. The family computer is in a family room. Keeping an eye out is easier if she’s not locked away in a bedroom.
  2. I did not give her admin access – just set her up as an editor for now.
  3. No FTP access!
Now… are there any good plugins I can use to tie the system down?

I’ve gone nofollow free… Good or bad thing?

Most WordPress blogs these days use nofollow tags – a Google promoted device to make a vague attempt at stopping link spam. i think it may have also dampened the desire to debate on blogs though. The debates are now being dragged into Facebook groups or back behind walled gardens at Google’s expense as well as the public’s.

What do you think? nofollow free – good idea or bad?

Regardless of your opinion, here’s how to eliminate nofollows in your comments:

I am experimenting with two plugins to do this “Nofollowfree” and “Nofollowcasebycase“. Not sure which is the better yet. To install a plugin to WordPress you really need FTP access to your WordPress site. You download the plugin, and then unzip it (Don’t try and put a zipped file onto the server. It doesn’t work). The unzipped contents should, themselves be in a directory and need to be put in the wp-content/plugins directory on the server. For some people, that will be /public_html/wp-content/plugins.

That’s not it though. You then need to activate the plugin from within WordPress. Log into the /wp-admin area and click on “plugins” on the far right of the screen to do this.

Dixon.